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Make your apartment "cat friendly".

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by Steven Ryan, 24th Jun, 2015.

  1. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    There's a lot of cat owners who rent. Most of them probably don't have permission to have their cat but do anyway.

    So..

    Give yourself an edge by obtaining permission for a cat in your apartments and advertise them accordingly. Scream "cat friendly" from the rooftops and make sure the listing is ticked as "pet friendly" to capture those who use search filters.

    When I have listed my Marrickville 2 bedders for lease, they've either been the ONLY, or one of only TWO apartments listed for lease in Marrickville at that time where cats were considered.

    I have never had a vacant day (in over 1,000 tenant days) and have had applications from cat owners before the first open in each case.
    • Tenants with a cat may pay a premium for somewhere they are allowed to keep fluffy
    • You widen your tenant pool, catering to those with and without cats
    • Cat-owning tenants will have few other places to go, making them more likely to stick around and look after the place as they're on to a good thing
    • There's little reason not to obtain permission for a cat
    • If you are worried about damage a cat might cause, all I have to say is: babies and toddlers
    One final tip.

    On my most recent rental listing, I was pretty obnoxious and literally put, in huge writing "CAT FRIENDLY" on the main image so people scrolling through would see it as they skimmed through photos. I didn't know if I'd be allowed to use a photo with text overlaid. Seems I was.

    Even if most renters didn't have cats, obnoxious text on an image is a nice way to grab attention.

    Whatever it takes..
     
  2. Random Username

    Random Username Well-Known Member

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    I take it you're not a parent and haven't been a landlord very long?
     
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  3. skater

    skater Capitalist Premium Member

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    What's that supposed to mean?

    I've been a landlord for a LONG time & have many properties. I'd rent to someone with a cat(s) anyday, and YES they do less damage than small children.
     
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  4. D.T.

    D.T. Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    I've met Steven and know that he isn't a parent (but unsure of relevance?), he can answer for himself on the latter.
    However, I think it's terrific write up and is very true, all of it.
     
    Last edited: 24th Jun, 2015
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  5. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    I plan on doing just this.
     
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  6. neK

    neK Well-Known Member

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    I'd take a dog over a cat... not really a cat person.
    I find they stink up the place, especially if you have carpet....
    Maybe its because a cat scratched me as a kid (and left a scar on my hand to this day) :p

    That said all my places are advertised as pet friendly which definitely increases the pool of tenants.

    Furthermore, pet owners are more likely to stay longer because they know how hard it is for them to find a place that allows pets.

    Just make sure you don't have carpet and its all good :)
     
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  7. Kinnon Bell

    Kinnon Bell Finance Broker

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    A view from the other side... if I were looking for a rental and knew it was cat friendly I would steer away. I am highly allergic to cats and even if they're no longer living there I still react to them. I wouldn't even bother checking the place out.

    But I am sure I am in the minority and I always make my places pet friendly.
     
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  8. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    I currently have one place with a big dog. I'd prefer cats over a big dog. But either way the OP has outlined all the pros - higher rent, more applicants, longer term lock-in etc etc. I just installed new carpets in one of them so I've hesitated slighly, but I think I will still allow it. I generally prefer to allow this only when the whole house has non-carpet flooring but I think I'll bend my rules this time.
     
  9. jaybean

    jaybean Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I've considered this too. Dogs are better than cats in this case because I think there are way more people allergic to cats than dogs. But you're right I think you are in the minority.
     
  10. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    I allow pets too. My PM thought I was nuts until I explained the benefits of long term, faithful tenants who are often more desperate to find a place that their beloved animal will be accepted. I've had chickens, a snake, dogs and cats - the snake would have to win for least harm done to the house :p
    Apartments are more difficult as Steven mentions as you'll often need permission from a Body Corporate and generally more suitable to a cat than a dog.
    The number of people choosing to have fur kids rather than human kids is on the rise so it's a good idea to consider allowing that demographic into your potential tenant pool.
     
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  11. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Body corporate permission is an issue. As are carpets- I've had to rip out smelly carpet due to an unapproved cat.

    In Medellin, dogs in apartments were the rule rather than the exception. However floors were always tile or vinyl.
     
  12. Gargamel

    Gargamel Member

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    Agree, I've never had a shortage of tenants due to allowing pets.
     
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  13. S.T

    S.T Well-Known Member

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    Only had one experience with a cat in one of my properties, won't happen again. Place stunk afterwards.
     
  14. Beelzebub

    Beelzebub Well-Known Member

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    I can't stand the smell of houses with cats living in them. Nevertheless, I'd still allow pets also, when I was a tenant I used to hide my dog; I'd rather know and take the benefits listed above than have a tenant hide something from me. And really, what's the worst thing a dog can do? Chew some architraves? leave some scratches on the back door? If it means a good and stable tenant I'm all for it.
     
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  15. vtt

    vtt Well-Known Member

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    You're going to get good and bad in both pet and non pet owners. Let's be honest pets (like kids!) can make a mess, it's up to the pet owners as to how they manage it. If your carpet smells like cat pee at the end of the tenancy, its not the fault of the cat, it's the fault and responsibility of the human tenant. If the house smells like dog then it's not the fault of the dog!

    Choose good quality, clean tenants and pet ownership is not an issue. Sure, some people have pet allergies but those people will generally have a lot of other "no pet" rental options to select from.

    vtt
    :D
     
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  16. Cadbury99

    Cadbury99 Well-Known Member

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    My cat says yes! :)
     
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  17. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Whether cat pee in the carpet is the fault.of the cat or the human, it happens, and the result is not pleasant.

    If a pet is expected then there should be a section in the lease detailing the tenant's rights and responsibilities.

    This is known as the cat claws.
     
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  18. paper

    paper Well-Known Member

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    My cats say yes too.
     
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  19. FirstTimeBuyer

    FirstTimeBuyer Well-Known Member

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    Very interesting point of views from both sides of the argument. Thanks for the write up Steven!
     
  20. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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